Fighting Words

"We certainly can't outspend them. But even though they're stocking up, I'm not afraid of them."--Brewers manager Ned Yost on the Cubs.
Ouch.
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Bulletin Board material in November, awesome.

That said, if I'm Yost, and some "reporter" asks me if I'm afraid of the Cubs, that's what I have to say. And more over, I'd believe it 100%.

Lots of other interesting nuggest in that article....

And by "interesting nuggets" I basically mean, "where did Phil Rogers learn to write?"

"In left field, where Scott Podsednik had a better year as a hitter than he did during the World Series season, but not as good as a runner or a fielder, the Sox finished with a .280 average, four homers and 57 RBIs."

Or, "Where did Phil Rogers learn to think?"

Despite controversy, Morneau was an excellent choice as the AL's Most Valuable Player.

No. The reason why there's controversy is because everyone who is not a baseball writer agrees that the baseball writers picked the wrong person.

No. The reason why there's controversy is because everyone who is not a baseball writer agrees that the baseball writers picked the wrong person.

Well everyone but Mike C. :)

Yeah, can't really expect Yost to say anything else, still find it funny that there's trash talking in November. Also Yost must not know (or care) of Piniella's pension to throw at opposing teams hitters.

I missed that thread (and about two months' worth of other threads, sadly.) I nominate Mike C to take Phil Rogers' job, then.

What is this about Piniella's penchant for throwing at people?

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

when Derek Zumsteg answered some questions about Piniella he said he use to have a "Designated plunker" and I've read it on other sites that he's not afraid to throw at guys. There was that Drays/RSox plunk fest a few years back.

And yeah we've had quite the MVP discussion the last few weeks. Amazingly moreso over the AL Mvp than the NL Mvp which was just as ridiculous.

"Amazingly moreso over the AL Mvp than the NL Mvp which was just as ridiculous."

Dude, don't you know, chicks and sports writers dig the long ball.

AH yeah, the Rays/Sox fights, that was a fun little feud, totally forgot about Piniella's involvement.

I won't dredge up old arguments, then, more than I already (accidentally) have.

Phil Rodgers really edited the Ned Yost quote to take it out of context and make it worse than it was. It actually was more about the Brewers and somewhat complimentary of the Cubs. They'll need a bigger bulletin board.

I found this in the Boston.com site:

http://tinyurl.com/ve77d

While manager Ned Yost said it was difficult to ignore the spending, he added. "We certainly can't outspend them. But even though they're stocking up, I'm not afraid of them. We'll just have to put the best defensive club we can on the field and pitch to them. Good pitching still stifles good hitting. They've definitely added power to their lineup and the ability to score runs. We just need to shore up our defense and be a better base-running and bunting club, play situational baseball a little better, and capitalize on our scoring opportunities."

I am shocked, SHOCKED to learn that Phil Rogers distorted information to fit his purpose.

"Good pitching still stifles good hitting."

Well Ned, one of your better pitchers just got traded. The Brewers don't have the best pitching anyway. He's talking like he just won the division the past 5 years.

Doug Davis? meh.

Dude, don't you know, chicks and sports writers dig the long ball.

And Chad. :)

Brewers supposedly have some cash to spend this offseason. I wouldn't be surprised if they throw a little cash at one of those mid-tier pitchers to replace Davis. Estrada/Miller is one nice cathcing combo. Plus I think Dave Bush is going to be really good, really soon. Much like Prior/Wood if Sheets is healthy, I think there rotation is pretty solid.

Sheets
Capuano
Bush
???
Vargas

They could use another power bat in there somewhere though. And Weeks and Hardy staying healthy wouldn't hurt either.

Trans-
Doug Davis may be "meh," but I'd take him as my 4th starter every day of the week.
The last 3 years, he's consistently thrown 200+ innings, and is a .500 pitcher for a young, rebuilding team. His ERA took off last year, mostly due to an increase in walks. His era's of 3.39, 3.84. 4.91 are pretty solid.
He's what I hope Sean Marshall will become....hopefully a little better..lol.

"He's talking like he just won the division the past 5 years."

Or someone who has finished ahead of the Cubs the last two years.

In the Sun-times Sunday Drive today,
Jim Hendry.

On "outbidding" everyone for Soriano-

"four or five ballclubs were in the same ballpark. We didn't outbid anyone."

Must have been Jim's smiling face that go Soriano to go with Cubs.

Dude, don't you know, chicks and sports writers dig the long ball.

And Chad. :)

Your fragment leaves room for some confusion.

Do chicks, sports writers and Chad dig the long ball?

OR

Do chicks and sports writers dig the long ball and Chad?

I'd like to think the latter. Go Chad!

I was thinking the same thing, Whip.

Re. Doug Davis: As a 4 or even a 3 starter, yeah, he's fine, he's what you'd want, sure.

Holy shit, I'm bored. Can't we sign Lenny F. Harris or maybe Rey OrdÛÒez in slow days like today?

Mr. Whip,

I'm usually pretty popular in the writer's bullpen at the Trib and Times.

Carlos: Nah, the Mariners already beat the Cubs to OrdÛÒez. :)

I have something that should at least be mildly interesting, that I'll post early tomorrow morning...

What other sites do people go to in the off-season, to get their baseball fix?

I must be the only person who isn't awe-struck by Ben Sheets. When healthy, he's very good, but he *doesn't* stay healthy and it also seems like the league has figured him out. He also has yet to finish a season strong...or even lukewarm. I think he's good, but he's not the upper-echelon pitcher that a lot of Brewers fans seem to think he is.

www.thehardballtimes.com is where I read, other than here and ESPN (only because they have news...) It's a little bit stat-heavy, but interesting. I also enjoy doing the Sporting News Strat-O-Matic when I have time... gets me through the cold months. That, and I'll re-read the Bill James Historical Abstract again!

"four or five ballclubs were in the same ballpark. We didn't outbid anyone."

now that's a pile of crap. =p

yeah, soriano might have found a similar deal, but not THAT deal.

that's soriano's demands being met outright...not much actual negotiation i'd imagine...aside from how the $$/years is broken down.

next week figures should be released.

I don't understand that comment that Hendry made. Of course the Cubs outbid other teams. Otherwise, why would Soriano have agreed to sign with the Cubs. I'm sure the Angels and Phillies (and maybe others) were in the running, but considering the outcome, they must not have offered as much as the Cubs.

This is really a minor point, but I don't understand why Cubs management always seems to deny the obvious. There's really no upside for Hendry to say something like this. It just sounds like he's getting defensive for no reason. I would have rather he said, "You're damn right we outbid everyone. We're serious about winning."

also a fan of thehardballtimes, although I find myself having to skim through about half of the articles, for being too stat-heavy. love both their historical articles and their current event analysis.

The league has figured out Ben Sheets? Wow, someone better send that message out to the rest of the league STAT! Because they are clearly unaware that anyone has figure out how to beat him on a daily basis.

And yet to finish out a season strong ever? Are you just making up this stuff as you go along? Last 3 years 3.18 ERA, .245 BAA before the All-star break, 3.08 ERA, .227 BAA after the All-star break. And lets ignore his September ERA of 2.21. Clearly you don't know much if anything about Ben Sheets.

A NYT article on Soriano. Well done, but won't tell you anything that ou don't already know...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/sports/base...

Crunch-
Here is the whole quote with question-

How does it feel to be able to outbid other teams?

"There were four or five clubs -- no matter what people say now -- who were in the same ballpark. We didn't outbid anyone. It didn't matter how much money we have. If the player didn't think this was the right place to go, then we wouldn't have him."

ah...well that makes a lot more sense. well, it doesnt really matter cuz its PR bullcrap anyway after the fact. but yeah, that seems a bit more straight-forward with reality on that full quote. thnx.

so when the sox and cubs go at it next year, who do you think the designated plunker will be for the North? with this same question being of course moot for the South (the answer is: everybody). we should have an over/under for how many pitches it takes for lou/oz to retalliate after the 1st hit batter. (and maybe a pool for who it is that oz berates for refusing to plunk somebody, hahaha)

I guess it makes a little more sense, but it still seems like Hendry is being disingenuous. No matter what he says, the Cubs did outbid other teams. True, Soriano had to be sold on the Cubs, but if they wouldn't have offered enough money/years, the deal wouldn't have been done.

It seems that Hendry is either defensive, apologetic or both. I know he's not used to signing a high profile FA, but he should be a little more positive about it instead of acting like he did something wrong.

Well, Mike C, maybe, just maybe, the fact that his ERA and WHIP, while still good, have increased each year over the last few years, or maybe it's his increased HR rate, or maybe it's the decrease in his K/9 IP (last year aside, where he barely pitched 100 innings) would all be reasons to think that the league is starting to figure him out. Maybe the fact that he's a sub-.500 pitcher would be another reason to think that he's not an upper-echelon pitcher (which, if you read my post, brother, you'd see is what I said about him).

As for him not finishing strong, I'm gonna stand by that. Maybe it's *you* who doesn't know anything about Sheets. Or maybe you were just in a bad mood and wanted to start an argument on the internet...I mainly just read the posts around here, and I've seen you do it plenty of times. Not sure. Either way, I love how you're going to neglect to mention a career ERA of 4.83 in August, which, last time I checked, is "down the stretch." He also has given up the most hits and has the highest ERA of his year in the month of August, so it would appear that it's not some anomaly, but that he really doesn't pitch as well "down the stretch," and henceforth, doesn't "finish the year too strong."

While it's been a pleasure wasting my time arguing with you and checking out stats just to prove I'm right, I really get no gratification from it. The fact that a few years ago, Sheets seemed like one of the more dominant pitchers in the league, and has yet to come close to that domination again and is not an ace along the lines of Carpenter, Zambrano, or Oswalt is pretty apparent. Have a nice life, brother.

Who are these 'Brewers?'

Bada-Boom!
But seriously folks, has anyone figured out he breakdown of Soriano's contract? I read in one of these threads earlier that the base contract was 6/$90M, with options and bonuses accounting for the additional 2 yrs and $46M. Confirmation would make me feel a whole lot better.

So glad to see Houston drop big on a big (and I dont mean that in a good way) guy. Looks more like Rocket will wind up back with the Sox.

i dont believe anyone has a real idea of what his contract is.

it was assumed for about 3 days, until the actual contract was signed, that f.thomas was gonna sign a 2/22-23m deal, not the 2/18m he ended up signing.

it seems as though no one seems to even want to swat down any rumor that its not a 8yr/130-136m deal, though and there's been enough high-end cubs brass and soriano in front of mics since it was announced.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!!!

Just an FYI for all Cubs season ticket holders, I got my Cubs calender as a thank you for supporting a losing team.

Dodgers are about to sign Randy Wolf. Oh well.

I think whatever Hendry generally says is posturing. Knowing he will have to offer Z an extension, he doesn't want Z's agent to think they are making enough money to hand it over in baskets.

Even though they probably could.

Carlos -- Do you have a link?

#32: It seems that Hendry is either defensive, apologetic or both.

I think Hendry (and McDonough) would love everyone to believe that the Cubs offered just the same money as all the other clubs, and that Soriano chose the Cubs because of the fans, the ivy, the wonderful, wonderful history of this wonderful, wonderful franchise, home to...you get the drift.

But nobody's buying that, so I think what Hendry really should've said is that the Cubs didn't outbid anybody by a wide margin. That's probably more accurate, and it accomplishes Hendry's likely aim of trying to make the Cubs appear more like a thoughtful, wealthy franchise and less like desperate savior-seekers.

I was in the Milwaukee area this weekend, and I read some columnist up there tagging the Cubs as the flagship insane-market-setters this year, and explaining to his readers that desperate teams do desperate things. Probably not the spin on the Soriano transaction that Hendry wants (not that he cares about the opinions of columnists from points north, but still).

(On another topic, I also learned that before the Estrada trade, the Brewers considered themselves suitors of both Dave Roberts and Juan Pierre. The former was evidently more responsive to their overtures than the latter.)

Looks like Giants will announce tomorrow that they signed Aurilla.....and Dave Roberts.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/sp...

Fucking Dodgers.

Ned Coletti wants to do anything possible to make sure he sticks it to Hendry wherever and whenever he can.

Of the "mid-level" guys, I personally liked Wolf second least (to Meche) due to his recent injury history.

Wolf isnt that great. Out of the mid-tier FA SP I would take Igawa, Weaver, or even Maddux before him. The blurb on Rotoworld is suggesting that they could sign Schimdt and trade Penny for a OF bat. Given how much there pen is in shambles I wonder if they would take a JJ,Howry, Guzman for Penny deal?

I just read an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel sports section where the writer bitches and complains about how Carlos Lee turned down Milwaukee's 12 mil/year offer last year and ended up signing with Houston, playing the woe-is-us, why won't the owners spend money AND why won't the selfish bastard players sign to play here cards at once.

Several lessons here.

1) Houston has Berkman and a couple of other decent players. Milwaukee has...uhhhh.
2) Houston has been to the World Series in this century.
3) Hey, Milwaukeeans--FILL UP YOUR STADIUM BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT OWNERSHIP NOT SPENDING MONEY.
4) Hey, Chicagoans, if you think boycotting Wrigley will result in a better team--look north and despair.

Baez to the O's for 17.5/3 and also the Cubs will annouce a Floyd deal next weekend for 3/1 according to Kaplan on Friday.

"Baez to the O's for 17.5/3 and also the Cubs will annouce a Floyd deal next weekend for 3/1 according to Kaplan on Friday"

eh? friday? floyd?

"We certainly canít outspend them. But even though theyíre stocking up, Iím not afraid of them.îóBrewers manager Ned Yost on the Cubs.

After '06, the Cubs will have to earn a little respect...even from Milwaukee. What a shitty year.

jacos:
Looks like Giants will announce tomorrow that they signed Aurilla.....and Dave Roberts.

I really thought the Cubs would go get Roberts. They need a CF and a left-handed bat.

They need a CF and a left-handed bat.

I think that's going to be Kenny Lofton or Julio Lugo, assuming we trade Jones for pitching.

Ryan:
I must be the only person who isn't awe-struck by Ben Sheets. When healthy, he's very good, but he *doesn't* stay healthy

You're right, Sheets is very Cub-like. When he's healthy he's downright dominant, but he has trouble staying healthy.

Hey, OT- but I was thinking, if this Daisuke character turns out to be good (which I'm still skeptical about), Boston could have one hell of a rotation. I believe Papelbon is moving to the rotation, so their final rotation would be, in no particular order:
Shilling, Matsuzaka, Beckett, Papelbon, Wakefield, Clement (when Beckett goes to DL) Geesh.

who's dealing starters anyway...aside from the wsox?

heard mets in the past but all they got is 87 year old o.hernandez, a banged up v.zambrano, a sketchy ol.perez, and a slew of kids supporting an expensive set of bats and a 10million closer.

seems the wsox dangling some of their extra starting is creating a situation where wsox sit back and wait rather than trying to be competitive.

zito/schmidt/lilly/padilla....one of those guys needs to fall to someone soon. set some kinda market. the bats have already set one hell of a weird market.

what about the Igawa? i read here and there that the Cubs or Mets are likely to get him. but is he a better ML starter than who is currently among our ranks?
(prior/miller/hill//cotts etc)

I love how you're going to neglect to mention a career ERA of 4.83 in August, which, last time I checked, is "down the stretch."

Can we include July and June also? Where does this "stretch" start and begin? I am pretty sure people consider September as the down the stretch part. Down the stretch in track and field means the final straight away, or in baseball the final month in a long season. But since we are wanting to make up facts, what did you say? Wait let me go check....

He also has yet to finish a season strong...or even lukewarm.

Maybe you were thinking of Chris Carpenter instead of Sheets who has posted a 4.10 ERA in September over the last 3 years. He would be the one who isn't finishing strong while Sheets posting an era a near full 2 runs lower (2.21 ERA)during those same months in the same division. It is easy to get confused when you making it up as you go along.

But if we use your definition of "down the stretch" over the last 3 years Carpenter posts a 3.26 ERA in August and September, and Sheets posts a 3.33 ERA. The only difference is, and pay attention now, one of them "finishes" strong and the other doesn't.

But by all means lets ignore the pitcher who posted a 10 to 1 strike out ratio. A clear sign the league has figured him out. Much less lets ignore that K/BB ratio over the last 3 years at over 9. Another clear sign the league is figuring him out. In fact his last 3 years are above and beyond anything he did the previous 3 years.

So your trying to tell the people at TCR the league has figure him out from being a pitcher who posts barely a 3 to 1 K/BB ratio, and then goes to a 9 to 1 ratio? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't he have started out as 9 to 1 ratio and now be sitting at 3 to 1 if the league was truly figuring him out? I am not good at math but I think so.

Maybe you just latched onto the fact that the Opponents BAA is a sure sign as the league is figuring him out. It has gone up the last 3 years but he stills sports extremly good numbers across the board. Any of which a pitcher would die to have. If your pitcher over the last 3 years is only allowing hitters to get on base at a .270ish clip, he is pretty much one of the elite pitchers in the league. That includes OPS of hitters of anything below .700. Which Sheets does as well.

Carpenter (.270 OBP), Santana (.250 OBP over the last 3 years!), Oswalt (.300), Halladay (.280), Webb (over .300), Zambrano (.300)

While OBP and BAA varies from pitcher to pitcher one thing is common across the board they keep OPS of hitters to .700 or below. The best of the best do atleast and all of these pitchers are right at .700 or below it for the most part.

But when you used wins to justify your argument you lost any and all credibility. You act like you know what your talking about, but you haven't got 1 single clue. You made a stupid comment about Sheets not finishing strong and then you changed it to "down the stretch" so you could add August. And like I showed you if we include your definition it makes your point meaningless because anyone putting up a 3.33 ERA during the last 2 months of the season is pretty good for any pitcher.

But one thing Sheets does is finish out the season strong. Which makes your point flat out false. That is what I arguing, that Is what I showed, and you are wrong. Thanks for playing, have a nice day.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6210860

from the article about Randy Wolf, it speculates about Maddux wanting more money than last year and 2 years. Um, nevermind.

Floyd announcement on Friday I assume would be to make sure Mets don't offer arbitration. 1 yr/$3 mil (IF TRUE) for Floyd as a bench bat would be pretty good.

this is a couple days old and my apologies if I'm repeating..

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ylgpva

Sources said the Cubs' interest in shortstop Julio Lugo, another Piniella favorite, is lukewarm. But they already have received word from Lugo that he would agree to play center field if he came to Chicago, with the possibility of moving back to short when top prospect Felix Pie is ready to play in center.

hmmm, interesting.

Opps minor correction. Sheets K/BB over the last 3 isn't 9 to 1. I was looking at K/9.

So fuzzy math guess.....7.00ish? Still pretty damn good.

I just don't like the idea of two OFers learning a brand new position heading into next year. Which is what we would have if we brought in Lugo for CF and Soriano playing RF.

I like Lugo's bat but if we brought him in I would just like to hand him SS right away. I always get the feeling Lugo isn't the greatest defensively by some of the comments on TCR about him. Never watched him much on D so can't say.

Do you take outstanding defense and a poor bat hitting #8 in Izturis? Or do you take a much better bat (capable of hitting #2), and a down grade on defense?

Adding Soriano complicates that question. Without Soriano, I say get Lugo, play him at SS or CF bat him #1 or #2. With Soriano, I might lean to a more defensive oriented SS like Izturis as long as he hits no higher than 8th. But putting Lugo in CF suddenly puts the cross hairs on Murton losing time to Jones, which I am totally against.

I would imagine bringing in Lugo is contingent on trading Jones or Murton.

Mike C: "Thanks for playing?" Is it just me, or did you become even more obnoxious than before? Most people would consider "the stretch run" to begin in August and end as the season ends. Henceforth, computing his "post-All Star break" numbers that occur in the middle of July would be invalid to the point that I successfully made, i.e., he's not the dominant pitcher that some people, such as yourself, dubbed him a few years ago. He's done well in September, but his poor performance in August still shows that he is not dominant down the stretch. But hell, just to show you you are wrong again, I'll post a number, and lets see how "dominant" or "strong" of a finish it is: 4.20. That's not dominant, especially for the NL. It's also not a particularly great finish to a year. It is, however, Sheets' career ERA from August until the end of October. Please, wise one, tell me how 4.2 is finishing the year strong...Wins aren't valid? How are wins not valid? Please, Mike C., convince me and everyone else how wins and ERA, perhaps the two most important statistics for any starting pitcher, are invalid in assessing a pitcher's level of performance? Bottom line is that he not only has a career losing record, but also has a 3.83 ERA, which, in the NL, is far from "dominant."

I see that you simply like to look at Sheets' periphorals, which also show decline, KBBR aside. But, looking at the fact that his hits/9 IP has gone up, while his BB/9 has gone down (that one, since you may not know it, is actually a good thing) would show why he has such a good KBBR. Since you still probably don't get it, I'll spell it out for you: He's not walking people. Plenty of pitchers have good KBBR's by not walking people. Carlos Silva only walked 9 batters in 2005, while striking out 71, giving him a KBBR of roughly 7.9. That's a damn impressive number. The fact that he gave up far more hits than innings pitched, however, pretty much nullifies such a low BB/9 IP rate, doesn't it?

The point is that with a game like baseball, you can look at any number of periphorals and spin them however you want, which is what you're trying to do. For example, Sheets had decent numbers this year "down the stretch," but the "stretch" for him was about 80 innings into the season. Most pitchers are feeling pretty damn strong at that point. Of course, you choose to skew the numbers in your favor.

Looking at his career numbers, we see that Sheets is:

1) an owner of a sub-.500 record
2) an owner of a less-than-stellar ERA

Therefore, you are the one who is showing that he doesn't know what he's talking about. But I'm sure you're going to post another rebuttal just to read your own words. Pompous windbag...

thinking about the loot the cubs are taking on...

soriano - 17
dlee - 13
aram - 15
Z - ?? 15 ??

that's gonna be 4 guys making appx. 60m from 08-10, minimum (aram signed through 2011).

unless soriano gets really weird with how his contract pay, especially in 08-10, and/or Z does the same...the payroll could be an issue more than we think in those years...especially if any of those 4 pick up an injury.

Anyone know what Carpenters obp against and his ERA was in this years world series?

Tribune:
Sources said the Cubs' interest in shortstop Julio Lugo, another Piniella favorite, is lukewarm. But they already have received word from Lugo that he would agree to play center field if he came to Chicago, with the possibility of moving back to short when top prospect Felix Pie is ready to play in center.

Rob G.:
hmmm, interesting.

If I know Hendry, there's no way in hell the Cubs acquire any more right-handed batters.

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